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Friday, July 29, 2005
Breadcrumbs and chocolate cake

The lovely breadcrumbs and chocolate cake, just out of the oven.

OK i agree that the name of the cake is not very appealing but as soon as you taste it all the preconceived ideas you had in mind a minute before disappear.
This cake is at midway between brownies and plain chocolate cake. It's moist and tasty and melts in your mouth.
You definitely can't taste the breadcrumbs in it, they are used to bring an extra moisture that you can't get by using flour.

Breadcrumbs and chocolate cake
serves 8-12

200g butter, soft (at room temperature)
180g caster sugar
200g dark chocolate (52% cocoa), melted
130g fine breadcrumbs
6 eggs, separated
23cm springform mould

100g double cream
200g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Mix the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the melted chocolate and breadcrumbs and give it a good stir until the mixture is smooth. Mix in the egg yolks.
In a large stainless steel bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form firm peaks. Pour 1 cup of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture and mix well. Then add the remaining egg whites and fold them into the prepared mixture with a metal spoon.
Bake for 25 minutes or until swkewer comes out clean in the preheated oven. Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes then unmould and cool on a wire rack for a further hour. Ice with the chocolate ganache (recipe below).

Put the cream and chocolate into a pan over medium heat and mix until you've got a smooth mixture. Remove from the heat and beat for 10 minutes. Ice the cake as desired.

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Thursday, July 28, 2005
Glace à la vanille fondante with black cherries

Very creamy, very sweet, very melted, but oh-so-good
From "Vos desserts glacés par LENÔTRE avec magimix" (page 7)

Would you like to eat a very creamy, very sweet thing on a very hot summer day? Let me guess, the answer's NO, unless it's a delicious vanilla icecream.
As you can see on the pic, the icecream is melting. But it is on deliberate purpose. Since i was a child i had always loved melted icecream. It's was like a milk shake to me. I even used to wait an hour to then delight myself with a perfect melted icecream. Ah souvenirs, souvenirs...
Here i tried to recreate my childhood memories using a recipe from "Vos desserts glacés par LENÔTRE avec magimix".

So here is the translation of the recipe:
Vanilla icecream
makes 0.8L

1/2 L full fat milk
1 vanilla pod
210g caster sugar (fanny : i would use much less next time, lets say around 150-180g)
6 egg yolks
1/4 double cream (fanny : i used "crème fraiche liquide

(fanny : i'm not gonna translate everything but give you all the main steps)
Put the milk, half of the sugar and the vanilla pod sliced lengthways in a pan. Bring to the boil, stiring from time to time until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let stand covered for 10 minutes.
In a bowl, whisk at medium speed the egg yolks and remaining sugar until white and frothy (fanny : the recipe calls for 1 minute, i would say 5).
Now make your custard by pouring the hot milk over the egg yolks and pouring back this mixture into the pan. Back over low-medium heat for 10 minutes or so, stiring all the time, until the custard "nappe" the wooden spoon (fanny : it means that the custard coats the spoon: if you have a thermometre you should know this : cook until the temperature reaches 83°C, then remove from the heat for 2 minutes, still stirring).
When your custard's done, mix in the cream (it stops the cooking process) and put the pan into a sink filled with cold water (fanny : i added ice in the sink). Leave to cool for a good 30 minutes.
Put the cold mixture into the prepared icecream maker and leave it to do its job for 30 minutes (fanny : i guess the length depends on the brand of the icecream maker; mine is a magimix "turbine a glace")

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005
My two new books

As you may have noticed two of the books from my "BOOKS I WANT" list have disappeared. Actually i've just ordered them from Amazon for 34£. I'm so happy. Monday or tuesday i'll have two new and beautiful cookbooks.

Cook 1.0 - Heidi Swanson

When i saw that Heidi from 101 cookbooks had written a cookbook i just could'nt resist. And after looking at the customers rewiews i was amazed : this cookbook is not our usual cookbook, it is "the new generation cookbook"; so you'll understand why i had to buy it.

First reading impression : the cover is beautiful, each chapter title is well chosen : we all need some great recipes for breakfast, lunchbox, one-dish dinners, sides, spreads and sauces, sweets and drinks. As you can see this book has no lack. Every important theme is well explored, i love the pictures (as usual Heidi takes wonderful photos) and the charts are very easy to use. You can check everything you need in one quick glance. For me that always forget to buy something or to do something it's great. Though the book is said to be for beginners but i'm sure it would be perfect even for experimented cooks. The recipes are simple but who cares; you don't have to be a beginner to enjoy delicious and no-fuss recipes.

The food i love - Neil Perry

I remember the first time i saw this book on the shelf at BORDERS in Kingston, UK. I instantly loved the white on white look and the whole layout of the book. I liked Neil's writting too, not too much (like Nigella), nor too little (he explains every technics...).

But the book cost 30£. So i left it on the shelf (usually i would have bought it but as i had already bought 7 cookbooks in 4 days i tried to restrain myself a little and the price was a good excuse).

And now it's only 18£ so i jumped for it...


Coconut bread

From bills SYDNEY FOOD (page 30)

I am having a Caribbean Party next week end so i thought i would get into the mood by doing this coconut bread from my beloved Bill Granger.
And i was right, the cooking bread was cooking filled the house with a Caribbean perfume. With each person entering the house i would hear "Hum, it smells so good Fanny, what are you making ?". Actually the bread tasted as good as it smelled. It was a delight, just the perfect coconut bread.
This bread is in factmeant to be eaten for breakfast, but i think it would be just as good for tea.

Marked "never to be replaced" on the menus at bills, this Jamaican bread is intented to be served with salt-fish relish. Lime marmelade goes well with it, too. Keep slices in the freezer for workdays when you'd rather be in the Caribbean.
makes 8-10 thick slices

2 eggs
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 1/2 cups (320g) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup (180g) caster sugar
150g shredded coconut
75g unsalted butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly whisl eggs, milk and vanilla together.
Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into a bowl, add sugar and oconut, and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in the egg mixture until just combined. Add melted butter and stir until the mixture is just smooth, being careful not to over-mix (fanny : as i didn't read the entire recipe before starting, i directly sifted the flour into the egg mixture then added the baking powder, cinnamon, sugar and coconut; gave it a good stir then added the melted butter).
Pour into greased and flour 21 x 10 cm loaf tin (fanny : i used a 25 x 8 cm) and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour (fanny : 45 minutes were enough) or until bread is cooked when tested with a skewer.
Leave in the tin to cool for 5 minutes, and remove to cool further on a wire rack. Serve in thick slices, toasted, buttered and dusted with icing sugar.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Green and black tiramisu - IMBB # 17

When I saw the theme chosen by Clement of A la cuisine I first tried to think about the emotions that the simple word tea could bring to me. So I thought "Tea, Tea, Tea, reveal your meaning to me"and finally managed to remember the time when I was 9 and always having tea for breakfast. But not our usual sugar-less, milk-less tea. My special tea: Lipton yellow tea with semi-skimmed milk and a teaspoon of liquid caramel. This was a delight.
I don't have anymore that kind of tea. Actually I'm not a big tea drinker, but when it comes to the realm of iced tea, I can say that I am an addict. I love iced tea and could drink something like 5 litres in a single day.

After having noticed how I felt about tea, I decided to think of a recipe.
I've always wanted to try a recipe with Matcha tea and thought it's was a good occasion for a first try. So my first goal was to find Matcha - see what happened.
Once I was in possession of the crucial ingredient I could start thinking of a recipe (though I thought more quickly than it's written in here; but the word is "suspense").

There are one or two things I have to tell you before I continue: one of my favourite desserts is Tiramisu even if it's considered as cheap and gloomy. I simply love the creaminess of the mascarpone cheese along with the little sourness of the coffee sponge. And although I love Tiramisu in its original version I can’t help myself but give it a twist. I’ve already tried a Pink Tiramisu which will be published in my cookbook and I felt it was the good time to try a new version with a tea mascarpone cream and a chocolate sponge.

So here we go, drum roll please… My final answer to the 17th edition of Is My Blog Burning is a GREEN AND BLACK TIRAMISU or less fancily Matcha tea flavoured mascarpone cream on a dark chocolate sponge with a dark chocolate sauce. (Actually as you can see in the picture it doesn’t really resemble a tiramisu, but as it’s got mascarpone in it I though I could call it so…)

serves 4

for matcha flavoured mascarpone cream
- 2 eggs, separated
- 10g icing sugar
- 250g mascarpone cheese
- 1½ gelatine leaves
- 15ml full-fat milk
- 3-5g matcha tea powder (to taste)
- 30ml double cream (or any whipping cream)
- 20g extra fine caster sugar
4 x 150ml ramekins

for dark chocolate sponge
- 60g butter, at room temperature
- 60g extra fine caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 55g self-raising flour
- 50g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
22cm springform tin

for chocolate sauce
- 100ml double cream
- 100g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)

matcha flavoured mascarpone cream
Whip the egg yolks with the icing sugar until white and frothy; it should take almost 5 minutes. Fold in the mascarpone cheese and whip again until the mixture is smooth.
Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes and warm up the milk over medium heat (it shouldn’t boil). When the milk is hot enough dissolve the gelatine in it and sieve in the tea.
Mix the gelatine mixture into the mascarpone cream.
Whip the double cream until it forms firm peaks.
Whip the egg whites until stiff and add the sugar to make a soft meringue base. Fold in the whipped cream.
Finally fold the cream-meringue into the tea mixture, divide between 4 ramekins, cover with cling film and chill for at least 4 hours (though overnight would be better).

the next day : make the dark chocolate sponge
Pre-heat the oven at 180°C.
Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in the egg and sieve in the flour.
Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a pan of boiling water and fold into the prepared batter.
Pour the mixture into the lined tin and bake for about 10 minutes.
Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then unmould the cake and allow cooling on a wire rack for an hour or so.

assembling the pudding
With a cookie cutter, cut the sponge in circles of the same diameter as the ramekins. Unmould the tea mascarpone cream over the sponge and place in a plate.

making the chocolate sauce
Put the cream and chocolate together in a pan over medium heat and mix until you’ve got a smooth ganache. Spoon this over your puddings.

My feelings: at the first bite you feel the mascarpone cream melting in your mouth, a mellow tenderness of the mascarpone and a slight but not over-powering taste of tea then comes the depth of the chocolate (cake and sauce), which makes a perfect balanced pudding and finally you re-get the taste of tea that tickles your tongue.

One more thing: if you haven't any time to make the chocolate sponge (although it's not long to make nor it is to bake) or if you love the matcha mascarpone cream as it is (and i'm one of those) you can just make the cream and you'll get a wonderful MATCHA MASCARPONE PANNA COTTA. Indeed if the cream goes well with dark chocolate, it's good enough as itself and i might reckon that i prefer the cream alone, which allows the tea flavour to developp into the mouth along with the mascarpone creaminess. All i'm writing at the moment gives me the need to urge towards the fridge and pick another matcha mascarpone panna cotta.

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Monday, July 25, 2005
The best cocktail ever

So here is one of the most delicious cocktail in the entire world, commonly called (actually i think i'm the only one who call it this way) "the quick drunk"; it is made with Pimm's - a gin-based liquor with 25% alcohol-, lemonade, fruits and mint leaves.
I call it so because you can't really feel the alcohol in it and then you drink a lot and get drunk quickly.

The person - to whom i'm really greatful - who made me discovered this drink is no more than my boyfriend's father Peter Insull.

Here is the secret recipe (to have a wild night)
serves 4 (but will be enough for 2 in pratice)
1/2 cup Pimm's
7 cups lemonade
1 apple, peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
1 banana, peeled and sliced
5cm cumcumber, peeled and sliced
a handful of strawberries, cut in 4
1/2 cup mint leaves

In a large jug pour the Pimm's and lemonade, add the fruits and top with the mint. Chill for 30 minutes to allow the different flavours to combine.

As you can see the recipe it's very easy, even a drunk person could make it actually... I think i'm gonna make another jug indeed !

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Sunday, July 24, 2005
Is my blog burning #17 - and the theme is

I'm so happy because im going to participate to this month's is my blog burning which theme is tasteTea.
Actually I visited the food blog A la cuisine and saw this new post about the 17th is my blog burning.
"On July 31st, I’ll have the honour of hosting the 17th edition of the food blogging phenomenon Is My Blog Burning? Created by the eminent Alberto of Il Forno, IMBB brings together dozens of bloggers from around the world each month to cook dishes with a common theme.
For July, I’m delighted to announce that the theme will be… tasteTea! Huh? Let me clarify. tasteTea, as in a tasty dish of your choice prepared with tea."
To participate I have to send a link of this webblog to clement at before the 31th of july.
Im so excited. I think im gonna make a green and black tiramisu using matcha tea powder and a chocolate sponge. I hope i can find some matcha tea powder over here in the south of france; otherwise i'll have to find another recipe using tea but it won't be easy as ever since i saw the theme of this month's IMBB i have been having a tiramisu in mind. I though of this dish because i love tiramisu and because i think that green tea and dark chocolate go really well together (and im not the only one who thinks so - see what Keiko thinks).
I finally got my Matcha tea from a local Patissier-Salon de thé that i've been frequenting for almost 20 years (i'm actually 20 years-old). It's called Lenoir Patisserie. Jean Jacques Lenoir opened is first shop in Valbonne - a lovely typical French village where i lived for 15 years- the day i was born. From this day he always considered me as his "mascotte" (as he used to say).
Above is a picture of his lovely boutique.

Anyway the tea is "Thé Matcha en poudre" (which means powdered Matcha tea) from Mariage Frères a renown tea shop. The tea was packed in a beautiful metal box and costed 14 euros (for 40g). I'm so very happy...


About me...

name : fanny

live in : magagnosc, alpes maritimes, france [update - studying in Toulouse]

live with : my parents (im only 21) , my sister-twister and my lovely dog chiffon (which means "rag")

love : david (cinema addict), cherries, cookbooks

would love to visit : my city is london, but at the moment sydney (because of a man called bill granger) and the caribbean

interests : cooking, animals, photography...

why this blog ?I've always loved to cook. But as the years passed by, i started piling cookbooks i'd only read and never use.
So after spending 48h-non stop on both Nordljus and The Traveler's lunchbox, i decided it was time to get on with the action.
I created foodbeam to:
1) finally use my constantly-growing cookbooks collection
2) give me a reason to cook so much
3) pratice food photography and english


Friday, July 01, 2005
Press mentions and others...

foodbeam has been mentionned in:

New York Times, October 8 2006 (both print and internet)
free registration needed to read the article

Interviewed by ThisNext, September 2006


In English

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